LONDON — Beyond the runway, the presentation venue, the showroom and the shop floor there is a safe space, a fashion laboratory where designers can exhale, experiment, fail, succeed and run wild, within reason.
That laboratory is Sarabande, Lee Alexander McQueen’s charitable arts foundation based in Northeast London that offers fine artists and fashion designers residencies where they’re meant to define their vision, figure out what they stand for, and how they can make it in a city — and in industries — that are expensive and brutally competitive.
Sarabande also plugs a gap left open by the big fashion colleges, offering support on how to start — and maintain — a healthy business. Named after McQueen’s 2007 spring collection, Sarabande provides scholarships to students at graduate and postgraduate level, and houses small, subsidized studios at its headquarters in London’s Haggerston.
Much of that advice comes from Sarabande’s chief executive officer Trino Verkade, inquisitor, accountant, strategist, dealmaker, devil’s advocate — and confidante — of the artists and designers. The former managing director of Alexander McQueen, the straight-talking Verkade has held top management positions at brands including Thom Browne Inc. and Mary Katrantzou.
Jake Burt and Stefan Cooke
Craig Green is a Sarabande alumnus, as is